Sociology seminar: Theorizing African Transnational Masculinities

On Wednesday 14 October 2015, Dr Dominic Pasura (University of Glasgow) gave a paper on African transnational masculinities.

You can find the abstract below, as well as the recording of the seminar.

Abstract

Just as masculinity is crucial in the construction of nationhood, masculinity is also significant in the making and unmaking of transnational communities. This paper focuses on how African men negotiate and perform respectable masculinity in transnational settings such as the workplace, community and family. Recent literature on black male identities have perpetuated long-standing crisis discourses over supposed social breakdown. Moving away from conceptualizations of black transnational forms of masculinities as in perpetual crisis and drawing on qualitative data collected from in-depth interviews with members of the new African diaspora in London, the paper explores the diverse ways notions of masculinity and gender identities are being reworked and renegotiated, and how cultural ideals of ‘being a man’ are being challenged and contested in the diaspora. While paying attention to the construction of masculinity, men’s experiences are not considered in isolation to the experiences of women. The paper argues that in the reconstruction of life in the diaspora men experience a loss of status as breadwinners and a rupture of their sense of masculine identity, something never questioned before. Conditions in the hostland, in particular women’s breadwinner status and the changing gender roles and relations, threaten men’s ‘hegemonic masculinity’ and consequently force men to negotiate respectable forms of masculinity.

You can listen to/download the recording of the seminar here.